As an avid Super Sentai and Power Rangers fan, there’s something very comfortable about Choudenji Mashin Voltes V (超電磁マシーン ボルテスＶ). Perhaps it’s the squadron of five individuals coming together as one, perhaps it’s the alien invasion force who send their bad guy of the week to try and defeat the forces of good, perhaps it’s the giant combining super robot… Whichever of these it may be, Voltes V is very easy viewing for any toku enthusiast.
Voltes V was a 1977 mecha anime production; the second in the Robot Romance Trilogy, succeeding Choudenji Robo Combattler V (which is also available on Toei Tokusatsu World and due to be reviewed). Under the command of Prince Heinell, the Boazan Empire launches an invasion of our solar system beginning with the third planet: Earth.
The Boazans make an impact quickly, spreading terror and destruction worldwide in a matter of hours. In order to fight back, Professor Hamaguchi and Professor Mitsuyo Go (mother of three of the team) have been training a team of five to pilot elite fighting machines and form Earth’s defense. The group are summoned to Camp Big Falcon where they’re informed of the invasion and the role that they’re to play in repelling it.
In what I have no doubt is heavily influenced by Thunderbirds, the team are whisked into their vehicles by a series of runners and chutes. They spend some time becoming acclimatised to their operation and doubt the their knowledge and ability to pilot them. I really like this; too often shows like these dump people into complex machines of which they have no knowledge and yet they know exactly what to do. They are reminded of the training they’ve undergone, though, and they start to get in a groove.
The Boazans send a giant robot to Japan and the attack decimates Defense Forces HQ. This prompts, of course, the pilots to bring their machines together and form Voltes V. The weapons Voltes uses directly mirrors items we see the group training with at the start of the episode. This is another nice touch that I enjoy that solidifies the idea they’ve been preparing to pilot Voltes for a long time. Voltes spectacularly defeats the Boazans robot and the Prince vows to try again. Classic stuff.
If you do end up coming to like what you see in Voltes V, you can look forward to a live action spinoff, Voltes V: Legacy, currently being produced by Filipino production studio GMA, in conjunction with Toei Company. I, for one, will be tuning in.
Voltes V, as well as the other Robot Romance series Combattler V and Daimos, are available to view on the official Toei Tokusatsu World YouTube channel.